Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Early Bus... Now Departing

We're on the Early Bus again today. I’m not quite sure what’s up with my sleeping habits of late but we’re not all that worried. What woke me up this morning was a brief but somewhat noisy thundershower that rolled through P-Ville just before 0530. Rain on an RV’s roof creates quite a racket, ya know, enough to wake even the heaviest of sleepers… and maybe the dead… and that would be me, Gentle Reader. So we rolled out, fired off the coffee pot and took a peek out the window to see there were some great cloud formations and the beginnings of what looked like a brilliant sunrise.

It was.

I took 68 pictures, most of which are throw-aways as I’m still having focusing issues with the SLR. This is beginning to piss me off.
For Ann and others who may be interested… All shots were taken with the 50 mm lens in shutter priority mode, f/1.4, at ISO 100. Image 17: 1/250 sec., Image 31: 1/160 sec., Image 34: 1/320 sec.
Customer service is NOT dead. Witness the following, which is pretty much self-explanatory (addresses redacted):
From: Buck Pennington
To: Tim Blythe
Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 3:13 PM
Hello Tim,

Today must be a busy day for all y'all. I placed a call to you about an hour ago and left my callback number and haven't heard from you yet. I've tried to contact you a couple of times in the interim and got an "all reps are busy" message.

Anyhoo. I want to place an order for a box of Acid Deep Dish 5.0x58 @ $XXX. Please use the regular credit card (Master Card ending in 8473) and the usual method of shipping... i.e., second-day air.... to my Portales, NM address.

The last time I ordered the representative screwed my order up and sent me a box of Def Seas which I kept rather than return, mainly coz I have yet to meet the Acid I didn't like. That said... I really WOULD prefer the Deep Dish this time around.

Norman (aka Buck) Pennington
Tim’s reply:
From: Tim Blythe
Buck Pennington
Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 8:29 AM
RE: Order
You got it, Buck. Sorry for being so hard to get a hold of. I'll get this shipped out so you have it tomorrow!!
Thank you and enjoy!
Tim Blythe
(800) 357-9800
OK… I kinda-sorta figured Tim was using a little bit of poetic (i.e., marketing) license when he said “so you have it tomorrow.” He wasn’t. My cigars arrived yesterday afternoon, shipped out from via next-day air AND including a three-cigar Acid sampler thrown in, gratis. It really is a pleasure doing bid’niz with, and most especially Tim.
Yes. This IS a testimonial.
As noted in yesterday’s post, we were anticipating our 100,000th visitor here at EIP. And so it came to pass at 1934 hrs last evening:
A googler… looking for the ever-popular MC-12W.
I'm thinking it's a good day to cruise out to the base. We need to do a beer and commissary run, anyway.


  1. Love that light on the clouds!

    Hey, I think the 50mm does NOT have IS...mine does not and I struggle with it a bit. I have the best success with the motor on continuous and firing off a few at a time. But I'm also thinking you said in a post that you did that also...

  2. You're right... no IS on this lens. But... that shouldn't be a problem at the higher shutter speeds, e.g., anything faster than 1/60. Besides that, I was resting my arms on a cinder block wall.

    I'm beginning to think the sensor isn't aligned properly in the camera body (for lack of a better explanation) as both the zoom and the new 50mm lens have the same issues. And the camera just went out of warranty. Of course.

  3. You mean you don't normally get up at 5:30? I'm glad you did, 'cause those clouds are awesome. I will be sure and let Jesse know so she can read up on the lens stuff - she is wanting a new lens too.

  4. Man, it's always so nice when someone comes through for you, isn't it? Makes your day. God bless Tim!

  5. Beautiful pics, Buck. Early morning T-storms and a perfect sunrise...I think people who have never spent time in the desert (or nearabouts) don't know what they're missing.

  6. That's some speedy service!

    No t-storms here this morning. But all that action yesterday caused at least 7 grass fires throughout the county and we only got about .10 of rain.

  7. I'm glad someone gets up early enuf to take awesome sunrise shots. Otherwise I'd never know how pretty they are!

  8. Lou sez" You mean you don't normally get up at 5:30?

    Not lately. I used to be an early guy when I was a working guy, and was often in the office to watch the sunrise (you may remember one such post). But isn't it heresy for retired geezers to get up this early? I seem to remember some sort of rule about that... somewhere.

    Jim: You got that right. It feels SO good when someone does the right thing... without any sort of prompting.

    Andy: I agree with you about deserts. I've put in my time in those parts.

    Jenny sez: But all that action yesterday caused at least 7 grass fires throughout the county and we only got about .10 of rain.

    I was watching the radar pretty closely last evening and would have thought you got MUCH more than that! There was some dark red on the radar plot that passed northwest of Floyd...

    Moogie: I fully intend to re-join your company in the VERY near future! :D

  9. Must be the season, Buck. For the last few weeks I've been wide awake at 0415, even though the alarm isn't set for 0445. And of course, I can't fall back asleep.

    Great pics, BTW!

  10. Hi - what is the setting dial set to on your camera?

  11. Buckskins: I don't own an alarm, unless you count my cell phone. That was the very FIRST thing to go once I quite working.

    Alison: You'll have to be a bit more specific than "setting dial," M'Dear. :D My camera has way too many dials and things to be set, IMHO. But I kinda like that.

  12. Congrats on the 100K!

    I think that's one hell of an accomplishment, personally! Pretty cool!

    The family is almost to Dallas on the way home!

    I think we passed...although we won't know for sure until Saturday morning!


  13. The clouds in that last pic look like soldiers marching off - given your commissary run it seems appropriate.

  14. Buck: Good on ya for the ORI. I used to hate those danged things, but leave us not flog a dead horse. And thanks for the 100K kudos, too.

    Kris: Interesting observation!

  15. Well I mean how do you set the camera up for a shot. Talk me through the settings mode you have it on. Programme, automatic, manual...?

  16. Alison: I was in shutter-priority mode for the shots I posted. I also shot a few in aperture-priority mode and a couple in full-auto. Most were shot at ISO 100, a few at ISO 400. I can mitigate the focusing problem by fine tuning the focus manually, but "spot on" focus is a hit or miss proposition with the smallish viewfinder on low-end dSLRs.

    It's a helluva note when your relatively cheap grabshot camera shoots sharper pics than your upmarket SLR. I hate it when that happens.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.